Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Boaters Midnight

I can tell you one thing that I have leaned in the past month, this cruising thing is tiring. A normal day for Anna and I starts around 5:30 in the morning. Our little buddy Mobey must think he is a rooster, because he has become a flawless alarm clock. As the sun rises each morning Anna and I struggle to make our way to our first cup of coffee. Once the caffeine hits our bloodstream we make our plan of attack for the day. Since we have been making short jumps on the Eire, we have spent the mornings sightseeing. One thing we have found is nothing is less than a half an hour walk. It is a funny thing, my Mom told me she was worried that we would become to sedentary on the boat, she reminded me endlessly of how important it is to get off the boat and walk around. Well Mom, no problem. I would say in the average day we walk at least three to four miles. To tell you the truth it has been very nice. As we walk or ride our bikes, we tend to see much more of these towns than I think we ever would in a car, wrong turns can some times turn into pleasant surprises. These towns are like Oysters, each one has it's hidden pearl. Ilion's pearl was the Remington Gun Factory. Having had a great nights sleep tied up at the Ilion municipal marina, we made our way into town to check out a piece of American History. Remington offers a fee tour twice a day, on it we got a chance to walk through a working factory and see first hand the process in which man makes one of its most deadly, yet useful tools. The history and development of the rifle and shotgun can not be ignored as having had a profound impact on our American history. The display of antique firearms in the museum was truly something. I must admit there is one fact that Anna and I did take away from the factory that has stuck with us with mixed emotions. Our tour guide informed us that in this factory, its most popular Remington pump shotgun is produced every 20 seconds. There are three shifts a day allowing for a round the clock production line. Every 20 seconds, that is a lot of shotguns. On our walk back to the boat Anna and I talked about this fact and agreed it was one of the most thought provoking facts we had learned thus far in our trip. Leaving Ilion, Anna and I decided to make our way to Rome, our plans were altered by a phone call from a couple we had met the night before. They had spent the day in Utica and told us of a modern art museum there that is even more impressive than the exhibit we had seen earlier in the week at the Arkell Museum. So just like that our plans were changed, Utica here we come. The walk through Utica was far different than any of the other towns we have seen, Utica is still a large and active city. Making our way from the boat to the museum, we saw many spectacular churches, theatres and various shops and restaurants. As a whole the city is tired and rundown, yet it is still holding on. Having not been a fan of modern art, I was a bit sceptical of our decision to make this stop, but Anna and I had said that if there was an opportunity for us to see something that would enrich or trip we would make every effort to see it. Looking back it was worth it. As we entered the Museum we quickly realized that the building itself was just as much a piece of art as the artwork in it. The pieces we saw from Jackson Pollock and Thomas Cole were at the top of their class. Even though it is not my favorite, I gained a better appreciation for why they are so coveted in the artistic community. Back on the boat, we made way for Rome NY. Rome is home to Ft. Stanwix, famous for holding back the British army in their first major setback of the Revolutionary War. The American soldiers at Ft. Stanwix held off a British attack for over three weeks having been out numbered three to one. The British were forced to retreat to Canada with the belief that a northern invasion was impossible. The fort was right out of the movie "The Last Of The Mohicans" and you could almost hear and smell the hint of the shot of a musket and blast of a cannon. How these men survived the conditions they were forced to live under is even more impressive than the victory itself. Back on the boat, 9 pm came quickly and as the lights on the boats were snuffed out one by one, Anna and I think we finally understanding the meaning of a boaters midnight.

Remington once sold this bicycle complete with a holster for a Remington pistol on the frame.

I wonder what the Terminator would want from this wall.

Give my regards to Broadway.

A monument commemorating those men that gave there lives in the revolutionary war.

America is not the only thing that runs on Dunkin.

Anna and I found a nice spot to sit in the gardens for the Museum.

This building won an award for being the most innovative structure made in the early 60's. The whole first floor is glass, the building is cantilevered and in essence hangs in place.

One of Jackson Pollock's works can be seen hanging below the balcony between the two stairways. Notice the Stairs hang without supports much like the building.

Two of my favorite paintings from the exhibit.

The Fort had a patriotic feeling being seen against the backdrop of a city that may not have been without its victory.

Let me tell you what you can do with your shotgun.

Anna do you mind taking the wheel for a while.

Don't worry I got it under control

For some reason I am some tired.


  1. We in Syracuse have always referred to Utica as the armpit of NY. However, the MPI is an awesome museum, and I always thought it'd be a great place for a wedding reception. Utica also has a very historic old hotel which I've heard is beautiful inside.

  2. Anna & Pete - I have just reread your recent postings. I understand that you complain of being tired on this adventure but your blog postings are fantastic and please keep them coming. They are interesting and worth all of your efforts. Pockets

  3. I am trying to find if someone has a photo of the plaque on Nantucket memorializing their sailors who fought in the Revolutionary War with John Paul Jones. I have heard that such a tablet/monument exists. Do you happen to have a photo of it?